I admit it. I hate high definition radio. I could change my mind, as it would appear HD radio could allow for more players in the same bandwidth, which could mean, ultimately, a lower price to enter the radio market. That's generally good.

This, though, is generally bad (from Popular Mechanics):

Currently, stations operating digitally are transmitting in hybrid mode. They're delivering both analog and digital programming by using unused space around the analog frequencies. This space originally was assigned by the FCC to protect against bleeding of the analog signal into adjacent frequencies. 'Those inefficiencies have improved over the years so that spectrum was able to be refarmed for use of digital transmissions,' Struble says.

When the day comes that there is no longer a need for the analog mode, broadcasters will be able to recapture that part of the spectrum and use it for multicasting

Clever rhetoric there. Hey, this hybrid stuff isn't really taking up any more bandwidth at all! It was extra fuzz around the old signal we're able to finally claim! A benefit! Continue listening to your old analog system; you lose nothing. HD radio is essentially recycling currently worthless space on your radio dial.

Then, in the Year 2000, Conan (meant to represent some future where you apparently no longer have a stake in legacy standards), and only when you (this is a royal you, btw) don't care about analog and it's now the trash, it will be recycled as well! Now the station can multicast more than one sort of content! Hooray!

I'm happy that AM radio isn't being forced out of the door by the government by a certain year, like I believe analog TV is, apparently so that they can shift TV's spectrum [for more cell phone space?]. Yet at the same time, I don't like this spiel where analog only goes away once "we" want it gone.

This is like the pots of money in the NC & SC "education" lotteries. Either you have a true education lottery, and the dough goes to public schools, from grammar on up, and, SURPRISE!, the old education funding gets shifted to, say, building roads for Wal-Mart [1], or you "fix" that problem by keeping public grammar and secondary education separate from lottery money, like SC &, I believe, NC have done. Now you use lottery money almost exclusively for universities, buying votes by routing this dough to scholarships for voting-age schmoes and voting-age parents and, what's more, using the lottery dough to fund research that, guess what, benefits those same corps that would have gotten dough from the "shifted" pots in scenario one.

I need to spend more time making that make sense, but read it four or five times and I think you'll get the drift. It's a bait and switch thanks to some fancy persuasive tactics. In the end, education-as-in-the-education-that-needs-improving-before-we-can-pretend-people-have-equal-opportunity my big ole butt.

HD radio, as presented above in Popular Mechanics uses the same appeal. HD only uses bandwidth not used now. But you'd better believe every-freakin-body in the radio industry, from poor AM stations that can't broadcast hifi music without HD and are getting knocked around by FM to Kenwood selling HD radio receivers for $500 -- yes, $500, and even then they require new "heads" in your car to hook up to -- to the gov't who can sell more bandwidth, want to push analog right out of the door. Goodbye $13 radio kits that don't require batteries that can pick up stations hundreds of miles away. Goodbye usefulness of millions of radios in homes today. Goodbye one hell of a broadcast network that we've spent the last hundred years building, all for a few [billion] bucks.

That, my friends, irks me. As in all cases of the failure of The Great Experiment of the United States, I suppose I'll simply have to make enough money to combat the problem, here by buying my own AM radio station and keep it analog. I'm a dreamer. That's no problem, right?

[1] Hey, Wal-Mart's only trying to make a buck, bless their hearts.